Evidence
Alert

People who have survived torture need joined-up care to address physical, psychological and social aspects of pain

More than one in four refugees and asylum-seekers in the UK are thought to have experienced torture in their countries of origin. Increasing numbers are presenting to NHS services with persistent pain, often of muscle, bone or joints (musculoskeletal). New research finds that UK healthcare services are not meeting their needs, and suggests that better ...

Collection

Multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity): making sense of the evidence

Foreword “Multimorbidity has emerged as one of the greatest challenges facing health services, both presently and in the coming decades”. (Pearson-Stuttard et al., 2019) Addressing the population and service challenges presented by multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity) is a local and national priority and a major strategic priority for the NIHR. It was highlighted in the ...

Alert

Digital games, apps and e-therapy show promise for helping children manage obesity, anxiety and other long-term conditions

Digital interventions such as games, apps and e-therapy may encourage primary school-aged children to exercise more or manage their anxiety, but research into the benefits of the technology for this age group is thin on the ground. Long-term conditions are becoming more common. Some can be improved by changes to behaviour, such as a better ...

Alert

Digital analysis of cells and tissue was as reliable as using a microscope in a new review

Diagnoses made using digital scans of cell and tissue samples are as reliable as looking at traditional slides through a microscope, a new review suggests. It provides the strongest evidence to date that digital techniques are a viable alternative to microscopy and could in future replace it. Small samples of body tissue (biopsies) are sometimes ...

Alert

Easy-read report: The risk of forced marriage for people with learning disabilities from South Asian communities

Easy-read report. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is an organisation that funds others to do Health and Care research. This report is about research that has been going since 2009 called, ‘My Marriage, My Choice’. This study has looked at people with learning disabilities who have ‘forced marriages’. What is this research about? ...

Alert

Risk of forced marriage among people with learning disabilities: carers provide insights into consent, care needs and the place of marriage in South Asian communities

Under UK law, some people with learning disabilities cannot legally marry. If someone is unable to understand the implications of marriage - or to develop the capacity to understand - they cannot consent to marry. By law, any marriage that goes ahead is considered ‘forced’. Most forced marriages in the UK take place within South ...

Alert

Acting on feedback from national clinical audits: NHS staff describe their motivations and the barriers to engaging with the data

A national clinical audit (NCA) in a specific condition gives a picture of the standard of care provided by NHS Trusts across the country. Hospitals can use NCA data to determine where their service is doing well compared to other Trusts, and where there could be improvements. The aim is to improve the quality of ...

Collection

Improving men’s health outcomes

This Collection brings together evidence from research funded or supported by NIHR about some ways to improve particular men’s health outcomes. Three of the Alerts we have chosen concern prostate cancer, the most commonly-diagnosed cancer in the UK. Across the UK, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and ...

Alert

Extending breast screening to women in their forties may save lives without increasing harms, research suggests

Around 7,600 women in their 40s are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. But the NHS Breast Screening Programme only starts inviting women once they turn 50. Mammography (X-ray of the breasts) is offered to women every three years between the ages of 50 to 70. There is long-standing debate about the ...

Alert

Being overweight is linked with an increased risk of dementia in new research

People who carry excess weight in midlife have an increased risk of developing dementia, suggests new research from the long-running English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). This study included people aged over 50 and followed them for an average of 11 years. Overall, those who were obese at the start of the study had a ...

Alert

Hand strengthening and stretching for people with rheumatoid arthritis: online training helps therapists deliver an exercise programme

A programme of exercises for people with rheumatoid arthritis improves hand strength and function. The Strengthening and Stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand (SARAH) programme is recommended by NICE following positive results in a large clinical trial. Therapists were initially trained face-to-face to deliver the SARAH programme. To speed up its routine use in ...

Alert

Heart surgery in young children: routine monitoring of complications can help assess the quality of care

The vast majority of young children undergoing heart surgery survive the procedure; the survival rate is 98%. This means that the current practice of monitoring survival alone is a blunt measure that does not give a full picture of childrens’ recovery. New research suggests that complications may be a better indicator of the quality of ...

Themed Review

Living with Covid19 – Second review

A dynamic review of the evidence around ongoing Covid19 (often called Long Covid). You can also download this review as a PDF. Executive summary NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination What are we aiming to achieve with our Living with Covid19 reviews? Framing the evidence What is ‘Long Covid’? How many people who have had ...

Alert

People with chronic fatigue syndrome want to be taken seriously and to receive personalised, empathetic care

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex, long-term condition that dramatically limits people's activities. It is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). People with CFS/ME are exhausted for no reason; rest does not help and it can take days or weeks to recover from any activity. Some describe 'brain fog' and problems with memory, concentration ...

Alert

Physician associates need support to establish their place within the healthcare workforce

The role of physician associate was recently introduced in the UK as a response to staff shortages, growing demand for services and rising costs in the NHS. Physician associates support multidisciplinary healthcare teams in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are supervised by doctors and they take medical histories, carry out physical examinations and ...

Alert

Getting up after a fall: training could encourage older people to get themselves back up

Most research into falls looks at how to prevent them from happening. The authors of this study wanted instead to understand more about getting up from a fall. They explored attitudes towards older people getting up by themselves and looked at measures that could encourage them to try. Falls are common among older people and ...

Alert

Parents are meaningfully involved in decisions on the care of their critically ill baby when they are given options not recommendations

Faced with the decision of whether to limit life support for their critically ill baby, parents fare better when doctors present them with options, rather than making recommendations. New research described distinct styles of communication used by doctors. Each had a different impact on parents’ involvement in decision-making. The researchers suggest this could in turn ...

Alert

A new framework for allied health professionals aims to promote a culture of research

‘Shaping Better Practice Through Research: A Practitioner's Framework’ is the first framework designed to help Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in all roles and at all career levels carry out research. The framework provides guidance on research activities, collaboration, how research relates to career development and how it informs practice. It could foster a stronger tradition ...

Alert

To improve team decision-making in cancer care: streamline workload, shorten meetings, address logistics and keep a gender balance on the team

For the past 20 years, the cornerstone of cancer care has been Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) who meet regularly to discuss the treatment and progress of people with cancer and plan the next steps. MDTs bring together a wide range of healthcare professionals, including surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, cancer nurse specialists and histopathologists (who examine samples of ...

Alert

New sub-groups of diabetes could lead to more targeted treatment for people in India

Type 2 diabetes is not a single disease. This was shown in 2018 when doctors in Scandinavia identified several sub-groups of type 2 diabetes in their population. Each sub-group has distinct characteristics and may respond to different treatments. Now, researchers have discovered different sub-groups among people in India. Their study included more than 19,000 people ...

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